Judge reorders Pinochet arrest

A Chilean judge has reordered the arrest of former strongman Augusto Pinochet on charges of alleged involvement in the torture and kidnap of leftists during his 1973-1990 dictatorship, human rights lawyer Hugo Gutierrez said.

Judge Juan Guzman, who has been investigating Pinochet for more than three years, ordered the arrest of the military's father figure in a document filed to a Santiago court, Gutierrez said.

Lawyers for Pinochet, 85, who remains holed up in his coastal estate about 80 miles (128 km) southwest of the capital Santiago, are expected to try to block the court order with an appeal.

Pinochet was discharged from Santiago's Military Hospital on Saturday after being rushed to the clinic on Friday when his doctors said he was at risk of suffering a stroke.

Guzman first ordered Pinochet's arrest on Dec. 1 for his alleged involvement in the disappearances and deaths of more than 70 leftists who were victims of the so-called Death Caravan military squad that swept across Chile in the weeks after Pinochet's 1973 coup.

Chile's Supreme Court blocked that arrest and told Guzman he first had to interrogate Pinochet and also allow psychological tests to be carried out on the general to ascertain his mental state -- a right for those over 70 facing trial in Chile.

If he were declared insane or demented he could avoid trial.

Guzman complied with the Supreme Court's requirements when he questioned Pinochet at his Santiago residence last Tuesday. Mental tests were carried out mid-January.

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